It has always been thought that Google has a ranking factor (small maybe) based on who you link to. If you link to quality sources that are on topic and useful, Google might consider that link quality and it may make you rank slightly higher in the search results.
The question in context was:
If you belong to professional bodies/trade associations, Is there a seo benefit of having external links going to these sites. Also with Content, is there a benefit of referencing external useful sites within your content? . If so should they be no follow?
The answer given by John Mueller:
From our point of view, this is really up to you.
It is not something that we would say that there is any SEO advantage of linking to someone else’s site. But if you think this is a link that helps users understand your site better, then maybe that makes sense.
So regardless of what you are linking to, maybe a manufacturer of something that you have, a trade organization you are active in, general other government site or some other web site that you think makes sense, if that is something that works for users by all means, go ahead and do that.
Here is the embed:
The way John said it may be open for interpretation, what do you think? One thing not mentioned is that you still do not want to link to bad places, linking out to bad places can get you in trouble.
Forum discussion at Google+.
This post was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today.